Air fryers’ practicality and convenience aside, you cannot be oblivious of the potential safety risks associated with them. Understanding an electronic appliance’s reliability eases your tasks and keeps you safe.
One common question we receive about air fryers is whether they can explode or catch fire – we’ll answer it for you today.
Air fryers are pretty safe and reliable appliances that don’t explode or catch fire if you use them carefully. When you follow the air fryer manufacturer’s instructions and don’t experiment with this worthy appliance, the chances of it exploding or catching fire are negligible. Since all air fryers come with detailed user manuals, you can consult yours to avoid any jitters later.
If you wish to protect yourself and your kitchen from the possible harms an air fryer can cause, we have got you covered. So keep on reading, and let’s set some ground rules for keeping this excellent appliance intact!
Is an Air Fryer Safe to use?
Good quality air fryers are safe and convenient for your everyday cooking. Since you don’t contact hot oil or food while working with an air fryer, the chances of skin burns and injuries are minimal. If your air fryer came with a pre-built cooking timer and a programmable menu, you can easily control the food’s safety and your well-being.
Air fryers have plastic bodies and metal cooking components often coated in a non-stick layer. If you purchase the air fryer from a reliable brand, you can inquire about the coating used in making its cooking components to rule out any worries.
Don’t worry if you see smoke rising from the air fryer while it’s on because that smoke doesn’t necessarily indicate a fire hazard. When you cook greasy or fatty foods in the air fryer, their drippings fall over the heating element and emit smoke – you can easily tackle this situation.
Another factor that makes air fryers safe for daily use is the confined cooking space you work with. Unlike deep fryers and stovetop pots/pans, you don’t come in contact with hot oil or food with an air fryer.
Air fryer baskets often have cool-to-touch handles, and even if they don’t, you only need a kitchen towel/mitten to protect your skin.
Can an Air Fryer Explode or Catch Fire?
Now, this is a subjective question!
We have seen people swearing by air fryers’ safety, and we have heard some buzz about faulty air fryer elements causing fires – you have to consider a few factors before we pass a verdict.
First things first, if you picked an air fryer off a sale or a thrift store, you can never be sure of its reliability. Buying used electronic appliances is rarely a smart idea, especially when it’s a cooker. Start with a new, good-quality air fryer, and half your worries will vanish.
Next up, your culinary habits determine your experience with the air fryer. Sure, you have to cook a large batch of food in one go, but your air fryer comes with a certain limit.
Overcrowding the fryer’s basket blocks its vents and releases an abnormal amount of smoke, leading to occasional fires.
The third factor determining whether or not an air fryer is prone to catching fire is the temperature you use for cooking. Over-heating is a common cause of sparks, smoke, and fire in the air fryers. You should avoid cooking at a high temperature in the air fryer because it can cause fire or skin burns.
All air fryers manufacturers specify the factors you must be careful about to prevent any safety hazards; read your fryer’s manual to know better.
You can relax after covering the basics because air fryers are not like pressure cookers – they release pressure and smoke through the vents to avoid potential mishaps. Make sure your air fryer is in good condition, and don’t overstuff its basket to keep these risks at bay.
How to Keep an Air Fryer Safe from Exploding or Catching Fire?
Safeguarding an expensive appliance’s well-being and protecting your kitchen from sudden outbursts is a smart move.
If you have faced a situation where your air fryer emitted an insane amount of smoke or the food came out charred despite you being careful of the heat, here are a few steps for you to follow:
Follow the Manufacturer’s Instructions
Get that user manual out of the drawer and read it; it will resolve most of your worries.
These instruction manuals often specify the recommended voltage for your air fryer, the temperature required for different recipes, and ways to control smoke emissions you might come across.
Properly Clean the Air Fryer
If you don’t clean the air fryer after each use, the incidents of sparks and smoke emissions can increase. Also, stuck-on food particles from your previous meals quickly burn and impact the vents’ working, eventually instigating sparks and fires.
After each use, you should wash the air fryer’s basket and wipe its interiors with a wet cloth to ensure it’s free of food and grease build-up. This particulate can also increase your air fryer’s cooking time, so getting rid of it is a wise step.
Don’t Overcrowd the Fryer’s Basket or Rack.
You might be tempted to put several chicken wings or fries in the basket at once to speed up the cooking process; don’t do it. Air fryers have certain cooking limits; crossing them will only risk your food’s taste and your safety.
Leave sufficient space between the raw ingredients and your air fryer’s heating element to ensure there’s enough circulation space for the hot air. If you overstuff the air fryer, its vents don’t work well and end up pressure-releasing the smoke.
Use the Optimum Amount of Oil
Air fryers don’t require much oil/grease for cooking; only a few drops, and you’re good. However, some people find oil-brushing insufficient and pool a whole lot of oil in the air fryer basket, only to make things worse.
You should use an optimum amount of oil in the air fryer that prevents food from sticking to the basket and doesn’t generate an insane amount of smoke.
Most air fryer recipes instruct you to use 1-2 tablespoons of oil depending on the quantity; don’t exceed this quantity to prevent smoke and burning smell.
Fatty foods like beef and cheese slices can also pose fire risks to your air fryer. If you’re grilling cheese or air frying pork chops, don’t bother the smoke; it’s okay!
Ensure Sufficient Ventilation
This step correlates with not overcrowding the air fryer’s basket. If you pile up raw ingredients in the air fryer without considering its capacity, they can block its ventilation and cause it to over-heat.
Now, overheating the air fryers is okay under normal circumstances; it’s definitely dangerous when there’s no ventilation.
You should leave sufficient space between the food fillets/chunks to easily circulate the hot air. If your air fryer’s heating element is on the top, make sure it doesn’t touch the food in the basket because that can create smoke, charred smells, and even fire.
Clean the Vents
Sometimes home cooks carefully clean the air fryer’s basket and interiors but ignore its vent holes; don’t repeat this mistake. Your air fryer needs sufficient space to circulate hot air and release the additional smoke; blocked vents hinder these steps.
So, closely monitor your air fryer’s vents and remove any stuck-on particles you find there.
Don’t Put the Air Fryer Through any Heat Shock
Air fryers get super hot during cooking; you should be careful while cleaning them. If you’re habitual of putting hot pans directly into the sink, drop this practice for your precious air fryer’s sake.
You should leave the air fryer to cool down at room temperature for 30 minutes before washing its basket or wiping its interiors. Temperature shocks impact the air fryer’s heating element and cause certain malfunctions when you use it the next time.
Can you Leave an Air Fryer Unattended?
No, you cannot leave an air fryer unattended for more than 30 minutes, especially when you’re cooking at high heat. Air fryers can catch fire, burn your food, and emit weird burning smells if you leave them unattended. If you have to move away from the air fryer, make sure it’s working at a low temperature and nothing combustible is in its vicinity.
Air fryers are smart and safe, but you should still be vigilant with them. Since air fryers get super hot during cooking, they can catch fire or damage the surrounding objects if left unattended.
When you have to step away, set the temperature at low and move any cord or electrical element away from the air fryer to prevent any potential damage.
An air fryer’s heat can also damage the surface under it, i.e., your countertop, so leaving some breathing space around it is good.
Having safety concerns is natural when you first start using an appliance; air fryers are no exception. Despite being practical and convenient, an air fryer can also cause some mishaps in your kitchen when you’re careless of its well-being.
Air fryers exploding is not a prevalent danger, but fires and smoke outbursts are common with them. If you’re facing something unusual with your air fryer, i.e., a rattling sound, smoke, charred smell, etc., follow the measures we have shared above to be on the safe side.
Once you befriend your air fryer, you can use it for various cooking tasks without facing any trouble or safety risk. Good luck with your delicious ventures!